The School of Charity: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Renewal and Spiritual Direction

Thomas Merton, Author, Patrick Hart, Editor Farrar Straus Giroux $27.95 (434p) ISBN 978-0-374-25449-0
Thomas Merton, activist monk, reformed man of the world and author of The Seven Storey Mountain , among other books, was a voluminous correspondent. This collection of his letters, the third in a projected six-volume series, focuses on the nature of religious life. Writing from 1941 to 1968, Merton discusses contemplation vs. activism, the teachings of early Church fathers, the changes in liturgy following Vatican II and the role of the contemplative religious in problems of the world (e.g., the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War). He also wrote steadily to persuade his superiors to approve his desire to live as a part-time hermit away from the monastery, a goal in which he ultimately succeeded; and he waged a polite war of words about his own books, essays and poetry against Church censors. While this volume lacks the mainstream appeal of the series' two previous works, The Hidden Ground of Love and The Road to Joy , it will be valuable for those interested in the religious life and approaches to it. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-15-602888-2
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-15-679515-9
Open Ebook - 458 pages - 978-1-4299-6637-5
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